2nd Amendment and Right to Bear Arms/pistol license


A person who has in NYS who has been convicted of a drug possession felony 30 years ago, received probation (no incarceration) and his right to possess firearms restored by way of a CRD (box "B") checked off, can an application for a pistol target license in Nassau county be denied?

An application for a pistol license anywhere in New York "can be denied" whenever the licensing authority finds (among other things) "good cause exists for the denial of the license." See NYS Penal Law 400.00 (1)(n). An applicant also has to be "of good moral character" [400.00(1)(b)] to be eligible for a license.

So, even if one is not legally prohibited from possessing firearms, the New York licensing law is written in such a way as to give the licensing authority other ways to deny a license, and the state courts have given them broad discretion in applying those provisions.

If an applicant was denied a license because he was not "of good moral character" or because the licensing authority found "good cause exists for the denial of the license," the burden will be on the applicant to prove to a judge in an Article 78 proceeding that the decision of the authority was erroneous, or arbitrary and capricious, or otherwise was in violation of the law.

2nd Amendment and Right to Bear Arms

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Robert P. Firriolo


General constitutional (Second Amendment) and federal firearm law inquiries. New York State and New York City laws and regulations on firearms. Use of force in self-defense. DISCLAIMER: While this site is called AllExperts and this field is captioned "Expertise," this individual is not holding himself out as an "expert" in any legal area of practice. Some jurisdictions require certain qualifications and/or certifications in order to use the label "expert" in connection with a law practice. Participation in this online service is not intended to state or imply "expert" qualifications in any jurisdiction.


Practicing firearms law attorney, including representation of individuals, gun clubs, sportsmen's organizations, shooting ranges, and businesses. Over 20 years of grassroots activism, including involvement in campaigns and elections; writing and editing articles, letters, press-releases, policy papers, and op-ed columns; interaction with firearm regulatory agencies; former board member and current legal advisor to the board of sportsmen's and firearm civil rights organizations; pro-bono counsel on select firearms-related legal cases; debated leaders of the gun-control lobby on national television. Lecturer on lawful use of deadly physical force and crime prevention.

Attorney at law. Extensive practice, independent study and research in this field. NRA-certified firearms instructor (rifle, pistol, shotgun, home firearm safety, personal protection) and Chief Range Safety Officer.

Awards and Honors
Martindale-Hubbell "AV" Peer-Review Rating.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.